Finding ways to follow through on ideas and tasks that we feel are going to help our athletes can be one of the toughest tasks as a leader. Softball coaching leadership and maintaining consistency in the program implementation can be difficult as the season progresses.
One of the biggest tasks we have the opportunity to do is to inspire and encourage our athletes on a regular basis. It can be easy to be so focused on the improvements at hand that we can “forget” about the human side of the game. You may sometimes think that being positive and encouraging is enough however it may not work as well as being a good role model for example. It is important to remember that everything you do as a coach will have an effect on your athletes, and especially on young softball players. If you show disappointment or frustration during a game for example, they will not always know the reason and may think you are angry at them when it might be their performance you are frustrated with.
Softball Coaching Leadership Tracking
It is helpful to have a a tracking system that allows you to keep working and continuing to work on the initiatives that you implement in at the beginning of the softball season. This would include feedback from observers and those directly involved in the activity or activities.
This follow through might include other leadership qualities such as requesting continued feedback, rewarding and recognizing athletes for their contributions and values, while being optimistic.
A plan of action to bring about positive change might include:
- designing a checking system that will let you know at a glance where your progress is and how you have maintained the consistency in the completion of the softball program.
- keeping an active list of initiatives that you have implemented and how often they are to be carried out
- keeping the list to a manageable number so you do not to overwhelm yourself with too much to do which could take away from your other coaching duties
- solicit feedback through continuous dialogue with parents and athletes on the effectiveness and usefulness of the initiative
The Implementation of this plan could include the following steps:
A chart listing strategies with detailed reflections:
|Date of Implementation
|Successful / Why?
|Unsuccessful / Why?
Checklist for softball leadership qualities
5 – I do very well
4 – yes I do
3 – I sort of do
2 – I could be better
1 – I do not do at all
Try this chart for practices and / or games.
|Model the Way
|– good role model
|– be prepared
|– start and end on time
|– work hard myself
|– encourage all others
|– follow through
|Challenge the Process
|– don’t accept the norm
|– be creative
|– encourage others
|Enable Others to Act
|– be accessible
|– be open
|– do not judge
|Encourage the Heart
|– encourage honesty
|– think/act positive
Some leadership practices can be greatly improved by following through on initiatives and being consistent with expectations of athletes. There can be a tendency to allow things to “fall to the side” as the busy season progresses.
In order to ensure a vision is sustained, Engage in professional development and solicit feedback where you can. It is important to be open to feedback from all sources, from athletes, to parents, to colleagues to superiors. Learn to delegate in your leadership which will allow you to focus on a smaller and more effective selection of activities that can greatly enhance your ability to positively effect the athletes that you work with.